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Amazon Prime Day sales rise as deep discounts tempt inflation-hit shoppers

Amazon Prime Day sales rise as deep discounts tempt inflation-hit shoppers

On July 12, Amazon.com’s Prime Day, a two-day shopping event, experienced a significant boost in online sales in the United States. According to data from Adobe Analytics, sales on the first day of the event reached $6.4 billion, a nearly 6% increase compared to the previous year. The surge in sales can be attributed to the attractive discounts offered by Amazon, which enticed bargain-hunting customers to make purchases, particularly in the categories of appliances and toys. Appliances saw a substantial 37% increase in sales compared to average daily sales in June, while toy sales rose by 27% on the first day of the event.

The average spend per order during Prime Day also saw a slight increase. Data firm Numerator reported that the average spend per order rose to $56.64 from $53.14 compared to the previous year. The overall success of Prime Day led Adobe Digital Insights to forecast that the event would generate between $12 billion and $13 billion in sales for Amazon.

To attract even more customers, Amazon collaborated with travel booking site Priceline to offer discounts, acknowledging that U.S. consumers are currently prioritizing experiences over non-essential spending. In the weeks leading up to Prime Day, loyal customers were given access to “invite-only deals” where they could request invitations to specific products they were interested in purchasing at discounted prices.

Rival retailers, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, also joined the Prime Day frenzy by offering significant discounts throughout the week. Walmart, in particular, used the opportunity to attract more customers to its subscription program, Walmart+, by providing a 50% discount on annual membership sign-ups. The increasing competition among retailers during Prime Day week has conditioned shoppers to compare deals from various retailers, resulting in a drop in conversion rates for physical stores, according to Rob Garf, vice president and general manager of retail at Salesforce.

Garf also noted that the Prime Day week deals are not solely focused on the initial sale and discounts but are aimed at acquiring new customers and establishing long-term value. He highlighted that Walmart and other retailers are following Amazon’s strategy to positively influence membership sign-ups, ultimately aiming to turn these customers into loyal, high-value shoppers.

Tom McGee, Chief Executive of the International Council of Shopping Centers, emphasized that deal events like Prime Day and Walmart+ Week drive spending across the board, benefiting both small and large retailers.

According to Adobe Digital Insights, the largest discounts during Prime Day week were found in the electronics category, with an average discount of 16%. Apparel and toys were discounted at 13% and 15%, respectively. The event also provided an opportunity for shoppers to stock up on back-to-school items, particularly apparel, and electronics, which saw sales increases of 26% and 12%, respectively, compared to average daily sales in June.

However, despite the anticipation for Prime Day deals, Deloitte’s data indicated that spending on back-to-school purchases is expected to decline for the first time in nine years due to sticky inflation, which has affected non-essential purchases.

The data analyzed by Adobe is based on direct consumer transactions from over 1 trillion visits to U.S. retail websites, providing comprehensive insights into the trends and patterns observed during Prime Day.

While Prime Day was a success for Amazon, nearly 900 workers at an Amazon warehouse in Coventry, Britain, went on strike for three days from July 11-13 due to a pay dispute. However, Amazon assured customers that the site does not directly serve customer orders, minimizing the potential for disruption.


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